What’s In My Notebook: Slice of Life 1/31 #sol17

slice of life

My son. Page after page trying to capture this personality, this conversation, this moment.

Being a mom, parenting.

Trauma. Learning and understanding. Researching. Healing. PTSD, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue.

Myself. All the ways I get stuck in my own mind, fretting. Anxieties and angst. The gerbil on its wheel, going round and round.

Coffee shops. What I see and hear. The sticky spot on the table. The barista’s laugh.

Overheard snippets of conversation. My favorite from last week: “I have to get off the phone now, Mom, I need to work on my chain mail. [Pause]. Not that kind of chain mail. I mean the armor kind of chain mail.”

Lists. To do, to buy, to remember.

Drafts of emails I need to write.

Lesson plans.

Book musings. Thoughts on what I’m reading. Lists of what I want to read.

Ideas for writing.


Quickwrites to prompts I assign my students. I remember. I don’t remember. I know. I don’t know.  Write about your memories of first learning to read. Write about your best writing experience. Write about a place associated with your reading and writing life.

Half-finished drawings from the day my son forgot his sketchbook. I write around the lines, squiggles, shapes.

Reflections on teaching. How my students learned and didn’t learn. What I will change next time.

Names I like. Words I like.


What I wonder. What I need to know.


Today’s Slice was inspired by Joellen McCarthy’s Try This! Write About Yourself as a Writer.






17 responses to “What’s In My Notebook: Slice of Life 1/31 #sol17”

  1. Karen Szymusiak Avatar
    Karen Szymusiak

    I like what you captured in your post. So many thoughts rambling around in your mind. Perfectly captures the mind of a mom and teacher. There are so many beginnings here. So much to write about. Happy slicing!

  2. Emily Culbertson Avatar

    Compassion fatigue. WoW! So true for me lately. Is it just February? February is always hard. I think that’s why “they” put Valentine’s Day in February, so we remember to love one another in February.

    Also, I think I am in love with your notebook without even seeing or reading it. It sounds fascinating! I look forward to much more from it.

  3. Jennifer Laffin Avatar

    This sounds about right! Thank you for sharing your notebook with us. It was a fun way to kick things off.

  4. Cherie Dee Avatar

    A metaphor for the mind with thoughts all over the place…or it could be a physical notebook with all of your thoughts. Excellent post! I used to keep a journal of thoughts, but then I thought I was smart enough to remember them, so I stopped writing things down. I was so wrong!

  5. terierrol Avatar

    How true your post is – so many thoughts in our heads all the time And now we get to write about them. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. lindabaie Avatar

    Love seeing you here, Elisabeth, and reading that list, which means lots to write about if you so choose.

  7. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    Love this format! A great one to try early on too, since you’ve got so much to mine for future slices. Particularly loved how to chose to end yours. (I’m jumping in for the first time this year, eep!)

  8. room311news Avatar

    I love this idea…..a brain dump. I started bullet journaling this year and this method is so therapeutic for clearing one’s mind. Not only that, but there are lots of writing ideas within this post. I am new to this and am having fun exploring everyone’s ideas and first posts.

  9. Tara Smith Avatar

    A list like this is a lifesaver in March…you have wonderful things to write about, Elisabeth!

  10. teachingmoore Avatar

    The list style narrative is really appealing. It fits soothes the chaotic brain of a teacher. Thank you for sharing your notebook!

  11. Akilah Avatar

    You’re so poetic. I’m going to do my best to NOT compare my writing to yours for my own sanity. 😅

  12. Shari Daniels Avatar

    I love this little peek in your notebook life, Elisabeth. Like you (probably), my snippets of writing fodder are not just in my notebook, but on Evernote, my iphone notepad app, on sticky notes and in my camera. Do you ever feel buried under mountains of what is possible to write about and become frozen in trying to choose?

  13. carriegelson Avatar

    Lists. Musings. Questions. Maps of our thoughts. Love being able to roam around a little in your thinking world.

  14. Michelle @litlearningzone Avatar
    Michelle @litlearningzone

    Love this list … you are well prepared to write all month long and more! I love reading your words, snippets of life in your world, Elisabeth. Welcome to another year of the challenge. I know you can do this. Happy to be on the journey together! Happy writing!

  15. tmack1295 Avatar

    This sounds a lot like my life as a student right now. In the midst of transferring to a school so I can be licensed as a teacher and obtain good resources for a future career in Colorado while maintaining my grades here and finding financial aid. Writing and reading among all of this chaos. I don’t know how you mange to get everything done! I hope I’m as ready as you are with your lists when I get there. Thanks for sharing an insider to your life. It makes me feel less unruly in my life knowing that my Professor is just as all over as I am and has it together!

  16. Tricia Ebarvia Avatar

    So many things to write about! Your notebook sounds a little like mine… a menagerie of thoughts meandering… Can’t wait to read more about these, especially your book musings. 🙂

  17. carwilc Avatar

    So much of you in this post. People who didn’t know you would know a lot from reading this!

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